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minority leader mitch mcconnell, but senato harry reid was very involved in all this, and the hold up for the last six some hours this evening, the republican leader, senate minority leader, mitch mcconnell, and the white house had fundamentally come to an agreement on principle, and there was this stall in the talks for the last hours tonight. it was because democratic leader harry reid was refusing to give in on some points that were very important to the democrats. and so he's won some concessions, and that should help make the vice president's sell even easier tonight. you know, there are some people saying, look, don't say we have a deal until you know, everyone signs on inside that room. now, what we know is that there is a deal in principle between reid, mcconnell, and the white house. that is the major hurdle they had to overcome, and it's now all but the selling, and of course, the voting, wolf. >> they have to draft it and put it in a form of legislation. dana bash is our senior congressional correspondent. is there anything else, jessica, you wanted to add before we bring i
this from sources earlier. the senate majority leader, harry reid went to the senate floor and talked about the snag. list ton what he said. >> the one thing i do want to mention is that we're not going to have any social security cuts at this stage, that doesn't seem appropriate. we're open to just discussion about entitlement reforms, but we're going to have to take it in a different direction, the present status will not work. we're willing to make concessions as part of a balanced comprehensive agreement. but will not agree to cut social security. with 36 hours left until the country goes over the cliff, i remain hopeful, but realistic about the prospect of reaching a bipartisan agreement. at some point in the negotiating progress, it becomes obvious when the other side is intentionally demanding concessions they know the other side is not willing to make. we are not there, mr. president. >> right now, talks are at a standstill, they haven't been going on all day. but as we speak, you're looking at the senate floor, it's pretty empty, republicans and democrats are going into their own m
harry reid and mitch mcconnell's offices. both the senate and house are meeting today. joins me touk at that about where things stand is darrell issa of california and done nan edwards and michigan senator debbie sab snow and jon ba wrasse o from wyoming. what's up? what is happening that you can tell us about? >> well, there's a lot of work going on right now on both sides of the aisle in the senate to come to an aagreement. to me there's take basic principle, and if everybody agrees we can go forward. that is, don't hold middle class families hostage to the debate about whether or not the wealthiest americans should get another tax cut. i would argue we can't afford it as a country, but the question is, are we going to allow middle class families to see their taxes go up while we have this debate? if we can agree we will continue tax cuts for the middle class, everything else begins to fall into place. >> wlho is working at this moment? are you involved in this? >> i've been in touch with those involved in this. there is no deal yet. i continue to hope for a bipartisan agreement to
it does, the senate majority leader harry reid is expected to weigh in, in just about ten minutes on the looming fiscal cliff. reid and his fellow senators are under intense scrutiny after john boehner said the democratic controlled senate must act first on proposals already passed by his chamber. we will bring you reid's remarks as they happen. >>> as the clock ticks down toward the fiscal cliff, washington has a new worry the debt ceiling, treasury secretary tim geithner says the united states will hit its legal borrowing limit on monday. alison kosik is in new york. i feel like it's groundhog day. >> i know it really is. what's old is new again, right, carol? let me kind of back up the bus here. we start talking about the debt ceiling and i know people's eyes glaze over. let me tell you exactly what the debt ceiling is. it's a cap set by congress of the amount of money the federal government can borrow. right now the ceiling is at $16.394 trillion and treasury secretary tim geithner said earlier this week we could hit that debt ceiling on monday, on new year's eve and the treas
of six attending. vice president biden, harry reid, house minority leader nancy pelosi, mitch mcconnell and john boehner representing the republicans. brianna keilar is live from washington. is anybody optimistic that a deal could be done today around a table? >> i will tell you the optimism is sort of sinking. senate majority leader harry reid said he doesn't see how it can get done by january 1st. we heard from president obama before he left from his vacation that he was optimistic. logistically the white house will tell you it's possible. when you listen to what you're hearing some of these congressional leaders say, there's a lot of posturing laying blame to the other side if we do go over the cliff. take a listen. >> republicans are not about to write a blank check for anything senate democrats put forward because we find ourselves at the edge of the cliff. >> we are here in washington working while the members of the house of representatives are out watching movies, watching their kids play soccer, basketball, doing all kinds of things. they should be here. >> now, house sp
to see you. within the past hour, senate majority leader harry reid spoke on the floor. he really gave it to john boehner. he got pretty personal. >> he did. he really laid the blame at boehner's lap. talked about the fact that he was surprised that the house isn't even in session, which is true, but let's get real. the senate came back into session this morning. most importantly, he was very, very pessimistic about getting anything done before we reach that fiscal cliff. listen to what he said. >> the speaker just has a few d days left to change his mind, but i have to be very honest, mr. president. i don't know time wise how it can happen now. >> let me kind of lay out the state of play. i'll try to keep it out as much as possible. this is something everybody is focused on. the ball is in the senate's court right now. so what senator reid, who you saw earlier, and the president, what they are trying to figure out is whether or not they can craft what the president called a scaled-back bill, which is what he campaigned on. raising taxes for everybody making more than $250,000 a year a
are expecting to hear from republican leader mitch mcconnell, maybe even senate majority leader harry reid, as of now so far as we know there is no fiscal cliff deal, but negotiations primarily betweens those two men are going on even as we speak or between their staffs. we're hearing a new sense of optimism from some senate members who believe they might be able to pass some kind of minimalist package that would keep tax rates from going up on the majority of americans. i want to go to capitol hill and cnn's senior congressional correspondent dana bash. dana, is that the sense you get that somehow we should be optimistic about whatever it is that's going on? >> you know, as we talked about before, you definitely get a feeling or the atmosphere here is that there is progress being made but in the same breath, but, there are still thingsing to worked out. as we wait for what we generally see when the senate opens which is the pledge of allegiance, a prayer and so forth, if you see the bottom of your screen, i'm not sure if you can see it, white hair, that is harry reid, the senate majority
connell, the senate republican leader, and joe biden, the vice president. harry reid, the senate democratic leader is certainly very well-informed. he's kept apprised of what's going on just as the house speaker on the other side of the capitol is as well but these two men are probably hopefully going to work late into the night, maybe early in the morning to see if they can come up with some way to put this in real terms for americans, some way to avert the taxes for every american going up in a big way starting tomorrow night. >> so it's no burning the midnight oil for the senate because they're gone, and congress now, do we know? >> reporter: the senate has decided to formally -- the senate majority leader harry reid said about an hour ago that effectively there won't be any votes tonight. so the hope for getting a deal today that the senate can vote on which was the hope even going into the day, that's not going to happen. in fact, the house, they brought people back for a vote tonight just to have people here in case the senate could vote on something that they could send over to the house. n
? basically the ball is in the senate's court? >> all you have to do is look at what harry reid, the leader of the senate has been saying from day one. every time that speaker boehner put forth a common-sense plan to fix this problem, harry reid would say, right off the bat it is doa, dead on arrival. not one thing that speaker boehner proposed that reid said, oh, we can work with that. it's about scoring political points. the american people are tired of all of us, i understand that. we just make used car salesmen look good. that's the only group is below us. but we've got to get our act together, and prove to the american people that we can regain the trust that they once had in us and get the job done. and as you say, not kick the can down the road. they want to us work this out. i hope we do. >> let's talk about something a little more bright. the former marine stuck in mexico. if you don't know the story, he was basically trying to go on a surfing trip. an old winnebago and a bunch of surf boards and some sort of antique, torn apart gun that he wanted to use to hunt rabbits and birds.
and schedule a vote. so the pressure is on for senator majority leader harry reid, and mitch mcconnell, be sure no republicans block the bill. for house speaker john boehner to agree to bring it to a vote on the house floor and leader nancy pelosi to predict a huge number of democrats needed to pass it. but if that plan falling through -- >> then i will urge senator reid to bring to the floor a basic package for an up or down vote. >> reporter: the president's basic package has much more for democrats to like. so don't expect that to get very far, but all sides now agree the senate must first pass a bill before the house makes any kind of move. so all eyes will be on mitch mcconnell and harry reid and their negotiatorsoled up on capitol hill. the senate comes back into session at 1:00 on sunday. christi, alison? >>> and the cliffhanger continues. jessica yellin, thanks. >>> and january 1st is the deadline to make a deal on the fiscal cliff. for some states, it's a day that a series of new laws are going to take effect. let me get you clued in here. in california, talking more than 800 new laws,
're shifting negotiation tactics now to a group of two. two senators, mitch mcconnell and harry reid, the two party leaders in the senate, are going to be trying to find a way to get a deal today. we know their staff is talking. we don't expect actually any necessary meetings between those two leaders right away today. we think that their chiefs of staff are going to be on the phone, via e-mail. this reported from our producer, ted barrett. perhaps tonight they'll see if the leaders can sit down and get together something to present to their various caucuses. now as i said, it was silent until yesterday. then we heard many people speaking. again, we heard from president obama this morning talking about how important it is to try and get a deal done this week. >> you meet your deadlines, your responsibilities every single day. the folks you sent here to serve should do the same. we cannot let washington politics get in the way of america's progress. we've got to do what it takes to protect the middle class, grow this economy, and move our country forward. >> that was the president's weekly add
. the president, vice president biden, senate majority leader harry reid and house minority leader nancy pelosi on the democratic side. house speaker john boehner, mitch mcconnell representing the republicans. brianna keilar live from washington. what do we expect to happen today? any new offers from the president or house speaker? >> we don't know. right now, all eyes on the senate to see what senate majority leader harry reid can cobble together to get some republican support. technically, it's still possible to come to an agreement. that said, politically is a different story, and the prospects for coming to a deal are starting to dim. right now, we're hearing a whole lot of the blame game. a lot of public posturing from both sides as they prepare for the possibility of going over the cliff. let's listen to harry reid. >> we are here in washington working while members of the house of representatives are out watching movies and watching their kids play soccer and basketball and doing all kinds of things. they should be here. >> now, the speaker of the house, john boehner, sort of retorting t
. the senate republican leader felt like harry reid's democratic counterpart wasn't negotiating in good faith, trying torepublicans to the edge of the cliff. he called vice president joe biden as an end around. mitch mcconnell walked to the senate cloak room sat down and said socially, look, joe, a lot of these guy s are very smart people, but i don't see the trip wires. i'll call you back with an offer, that's how this start ed 30 hours later, a deal was done. >> sitting in the phone booth in the cloak room. that's amazing. >> for all of the talk on the vice president and senate side, so much drama overnight on the house side. speaker boehner voting for the bill. and eric cantor voting against the bill. the house whip voting against the bill and paul ryan voting for the bill. this is a real split. >> it is. it shows the schism and a real good demonstration of why it was so difficult for speaker boehner to negotiate a bigger, grander deal with the president. he was unable to get his own deal through the house a few weeks ago, and the negotiated deal that passed with overwhelming bipartisan su
will be on mitch mcconnell and harry reid and their negotiators holed up on capitol hill. the senate comes back into session at 1:00 on sunday. >> jessica yellin, thanks. >>> and with the pressure now squarely on the senate to fix the fiscal cliff, they will lead the talks this weekend. a period of time reid calls, quote, very important, mcconnell says he's hopeful both sides will have a plan to present to their respective members as early as tomorrow. and other republican and democratic senators are underscoring the importance of reaching an agreement soon. >> if we don't have a deal within the next 24 hours, the question is, where do you buy a parachute? looks like we'll be going over the cliff. the closer we get to the end, the less likely it is you're going to be able to compress an agreement in to place that will have enough votes to pass. >> when the dust settles and everything's said and done, federal individual income taxes are not going to go up on almost all americans next year. that will either be settled this weekend by our votes or settled after the first of the year. that's the mo
-term economic problems. after a moment of spiritual clarity on friday afternoon, harry reid is working on a bipartisan deal ostensibly with his republican adversary mitch mcconnell. >> -- engaged in discussions, the majority leader and myself and the white house, in the hopes that we can come forward as early as sunday and have a recommendation that i can make to my conference and the majority leader can make to his conference. >> well, if the senate manages to reach a compromise, the hope is that the house would follow. that's option one. the green one. option two is less certain. president obama reportedly challenged congressional leaders from both parties on friday to come up with a deal better than the one he proposed. the center piece of which is that the top marginal tax rate will increase for those earning $250,000 or more from 35% to 39.6%. that's only on the amount earned above that threshold. obama has told congress either they come up with something better or put his proposal to a vote. he's betting even those who hate the idea of a tax increase on the rich will hate causing
and they are scattered throughout the country and taxes are going up on january 1st. let's listen to harry reid. he is not happy about the house and being away. he is the top senate democrat. >> we are here in washington working. we have the house of representatives out watching movies and watching their kids play soccer and basketball and doing all kinds of things. they should be here. >> here's a reality. reid said it's beginning to look to him as though we will plunge over the cliff come tuesday. they are keeping an eye on washington to see what develops. since it looks as though we are headed for higher taxes, i want to bring in terry savage, a personal finance expert for the chicago sun times. terry, let's walk through the higher taxes. we heard little class families are likely to lose $2,000 a year. you break it down this way for single earners making $85,000 a year if their take home pay is $2500 every two weeks. when the higher taxes kick in, they will see their pay go down $120. that's not a little. we are taking a major hit. >> this is big money. almost $400 a month. when you add up a cou
of house speaker john boehner and the job that he's doing. you know, senate majority leader, harry reid has got an approval rating just a little bit above that, 34% for his role in the fiscal cliff negotiations. >> let's move on to other polling information. which i agree is prety long-term. locking out to 2016 now, what is the potential impact on all of this say on who could replace the current president of the united states. what are we seeing? >> well you know, that's right. the future is very fascinating. we took a look in a poll that we released today, the cnn/orc poll that looked at republicans and democrats. we asked senators from both parties, who they support. let's take a look at the parties. here's the lineup, for the democrats it's secretary of state hillary clinton. she's far and away ahead of the pack with what, 85% of those who said they would support her. she's got a 20-point lead over the next front-runners, which is vice president joe biden. new york governor andrew cuomo, the son of mario cuomo is in third with 56%. >> a lot of that i would guess is probably just simply b
, was senator mitch mcconnell and here we have the majority leader in the senate, harry reid. let's listen in for a second. >> the house has reported by the press and we all know, one of the plans didn't have a name, it wasn't plan b. i don't know which plan it was because they've had a number over there. but this plan was to show the american people that the $250,000 ceiling on raising taxes wouldn't pass in the house. why didn't they have that vote? because it would have passed. they wanted to kill it. the speaker wanted to show everybody that it wouldn't pass the house. but he couldn't bring it up for vote because it wouldn't pass. republicans -- a myriad of republicans think it's the fair thing to do and of course every democrat would vote for that. the republican leader finds himself frustrated that the president has called on him to help address the fiscal cliff. he's upset because, quote, the phone never rang. he complains that i have not passed the resolution to pass the fiscal cliff but he's in error. we all know that in july of this year we passed in the senate the relief that wo
these prevent it, in control of whether or not your taxes go up come new year's day. harry reid, minority leader mitch mcconnell, house speaker john boehner and house democratic leader nancy pelosi met at the white house yesterday afternoon with the president and vice president. here's where things stand right now. the senate leaders are meeting aiming to avoid tax hikes. and they may vote on a deal sunday or perhaps on monday. jessica yellin is our chief white house correspondent. lisa day jar dayne is on capitol hill. the president used his bully pulpit to reinforce the idea that senators need to get busy. so let's listen. >> the american people are watching what we do here. obviously, their patience is already thin. this is deja vu all over again. america wonders why it is that in this town for some reason, you can't get stuff done in an organized timetable, why everything always has to wait till the last minute. we're now at the last minute. and the american people are not going to have any patience for a politically self-inflicted wound to our economy. not right now. >> so jessica, you were
and harry reid. republicans mitch mcconnell and john boehner. those four members of congress are expected to make the drive from the capital, which you see on the right, down pennsylvania avenue, to the white house, there on the left. and we expect them to enter through a side door on the west side of the mansion. that's the entrance right there. and they'll meet with the president. in the oval office. beginning, we're told, at 3:00 p.m., less than one hour from now. and just four days ahead of the so-called fiscal cliff. so a very big moment in the nation's capital. and to walk us through what might happen we turn to jessica yellin, a chief white house correspondent. jessica, we said up front, it is a long shot, give us a best case scenario. >> reporter: the best case scenario would be that all the leaders walk out of this meeting and say they have a deal. the two senators say they can bring it to a vote, and none of their members will filibuster it. house speaker john boehner says he will bring it to the house floor for a vote before new year's eve and house minority leader nancy pelosi
from its christmas vacation to work on a deal today. sources tell us majority leader harry reid will be pushing a scaled back version of the fiscal cliff package that president obama laid out last week. it moved the tax hike needle to $400,000 per household. no word yet on when the house might come back with time ticking away. democrats are hoping that a scaled back plan could get through the house, senate and white house before that big ball drops on 2013. that would be sometime on december 30th or even on new years eve. we want to bring in jonathan allen. he's a senior national correspondent for politico. the top headline on politico is fiscal cliff deal increasingly unlikely. i think a lot of people are feeling that pessimism right now. what are you hearing? >> well, i think what you've got here, alena, is a nash equilibrium to borrow from economic theory and game theory. each of the players believe they are pursuing their optimal strategies given the strategies of the other players and there's no reason to change it. i think as observers of this, the american public, you can
reid days before the deal. it was touched off by this comment from harry reid. >> the american people i don't think understand the house of representatives is operating without the house of representatives. it's being operated with a dictatorship of the speaker, not allowing the vast majority of the house of representatives to get what they want. john boehner seems to care more about keeping his speakership than keeping the nation on firm financial footing. >> our senior congressional correspondent, dana bash, is joining us with more on this story. pick it up for our viewers, because some ugly words were exchanged. >> reporter: that's right. this incident happened last friday in the lobby of the white house when they were waiting to go into meet with the president on the fiscal cliff, and we're told by sources from both parties that the senate majority leader, harry reid was sitting on the couch next to mitch mcconnell and the house speaker said to harry reid, go blank yourself, and the blank starts with an "f." and reid laughed it off and did not take it seriously. a republican that wa
, it started this weekend when mitch mcconnell was dealing with his democratic counterpart harry reid and he felt like at one point saturday and sunday that he was not getting a real fair deal out of the majority leader. he felt like perhaps that the democrat was slow walking him toward the fiscal cliff and maybe that he wasn't going to get the kinds of concessions that he hoped to out of the senate majority leader. and so he called joe biden and those guys have a history. they helped cut a debt deal in 2011 and they helped stepped the payroll tax cut that you were just talking about back in 2010. and he was able to start negotiations with the white house. joe biden had been sidelined by president obama for most of these talks. and he was able to kind of get things going and get a better deal out of the white house than he was going to be able to out of senate democrats. >> tell me about the division between the republicans. boehner voted for the bill, cantor did not. are we seeing a fundamental split in the leadership? >> that was a very interesting vote to watch and i think part of what th
today between the president and the leaders, two republicans and two democrats. harry reid said the next 24 hours would be very important as he and mitch mcconnell put together something that would pass both of their caucuses. and then of course it would have to go to the house. the majority leader harry reid said he's readying a bill for a vote on monday to prevent a tax hike on incomes up to $250,000. senator reid said his bill will include unemployment benefits, a continuation of those. that would be sort of the plan b for democrats simply because what they would rather do is get a bill with senator reid working in conjunction with senator mcconnell. senator reid said he's awaiting good faith proposals from the republicans. president obama said after the meeting that he is modestly optimistic a deal can be reached, but as you can hear from senator reid, the president asked that if a deal between republicans and democrats cannot be reached, then the president wants just an up or down vote on what he wants, which is quite simply no income tax rates going up for people making $250,000 an
the cliff. that's where senate majority leader harry reid says we're headed. can washington save us with just five days to go? >>> plus, a proposal to give guns to school principals is gaining support. we're "outfront" with an arizona sheriff who's backing that plan. >>> and the 2012 election was all about viral videos, tonight we're counting down our favorite political video of the year. let's go "outfront." >>> i'm john avalon in for erin burnett. "outfront" tonight, a stark warning from capitol hill. senate majority leader harry reid says we're all headed for fiscal disaster. >> if we go over the cliff, and it looks like that's where we're headed, mr. president, the house of representatives, as we speak, with four days left before the first of the year, aren't here. >> we're now told the house will finally return to work on sunday. now, that's december 30th. in other words, less than 48 hours before we go over the fiscal cliff. meanwhile, president obama cut his hawaii vacation short to return to washington today. but has he been working on a deal? "outfront" tonight, reports fro
. senate majority leader harry reid has said if they don't reach something by monday he'll bring forward a bill to help out the middle class for an up-and-down vote. >> right. >> put everybody on the record, but especially republicans. isn't that the tactic? >> exactly right. the step before that is harry reid is working on some bill that might get bipartisan support in the senate. president obama in that meeting apparently told them try and work something out. and reid left and made a statement last night, as did mcconnell, that they're going to try and work something out. the best-case scenario is that sometime tomorrow they are able to put it to the senate and then it quos to the house, and then there's a real bill that sounds like a compromise. it's not the grand bargain we were all looking for. it will be some kind of deal to stop going over the cliff. option two is what we're talking about here, that those two can't get a deal and they put something forward and everybody in the senate and subsequently hopefully in the house gets to say yea or no to it. you're on the record. if you
connell, the democratic leadership of harry reid. i assume their staff people are writing it. >> you assume. my point is the legislator is i distrust any secret process that doesn't stand the light of day, doesn't have open hearings, isn't published. boehner promised at one point he would publish things for three days before they voted on them. i thought that was a good idea. obama campaign promising the negotiations would be on c-span. what they're doing right now is fundamentally wrong and not likely to help very much, and just leads us to the next crisis, which will be over the debt ceiling, to be followed by another crisis. >> i'm going to ask you to stick around if you can. >> unfortunately, i can't, but i do want to wish you a happy new year despite the fact that you're in washington. >> mr. speaker, to you and the entire family, we wish you a happy new year as well. we'll see you back here in washington at some point, i'm sure. >> take care. >> thank you very much. we'll get senator rand paul's perspective on what's going on. the republican senator from kentucky, when we come back. i plugged i
's plan, and will republican leaders let that happen? >> well, okay. so senate majority leader harry reid, a democrat, has crafted an alternative proposal that he has -- saying he will put -- if the negotiations i just described fail and if the senators cannot come to a bipartisan agreement, then the democratic leader is going to put on the floor a democratic proposal that would extend tax rates for households that make $250,000 and less. hatch the alternative minimum tax and extend unemployment insurance. so that's a democratic proposal. the problem with that is, you can expect a republican is likely to filibuster it or block it in some way so it's not likely to go anywhere. and it's not likely to be put on the house floor for a vote by republicans in the house or democrats in the house. so you can assume it's a nonstarter. it's more of the political proposal than a real proposal. bottom line. there's one good thing in washington. or two. you're there. and if we can get a shot of the capitol back, at least there's a nice dusk happening it's beautiful. let's hope that helps the mood there
or tomorrow that will avert what we believe will be an economic disaster. >> one last question, harry reid said if you can't put something by tonight, he will put a scaled down version of what the president has asked for with regard to tax cuts on the senate planned for of course that is raising taxes on everybody making above $250,000 a year. do you think, knowing your republican colleagues, that enough republicans will cross over the democratic side and allow that to pass, if -- even if it's 60 votes needed? >> you know, it's hard to say until we know exactly what might be in it. this -- this is what i would say about that. if that's where we end up and if he decides to move a bill onto the floor and maybe could pick up the house passed extension of all the rates, hr-8, as a vehicle for that he ought to open it up to the amendment process, give us an opportunity to debate some of these things that we think ought to be a part of t what he will more than likely do, if history is any guide in this, is take a bill and felt amendment tree and prevent republicans from having an opportunity to
there and talking to people, and where are we on this? >> well, the senate majority leader harry reid was on the floor moments ago saying that the senate will reconvene at 11:00 a.m. tomorrow. the senate will reconvene tomorrow at 11:00 tomorrow, and that means no senate votes tonight which is not good news for everybody looking at the calendar and looking at the watch at this point and not the calendar to see that it is midnight tomorrow night that everybody's taxes in this country will go up. simply put, both sides are not at a place where they believe that they can come up with anything to put on the senate floor for a vote tonight. they will give it until the actual deadline, december 31st tomorrow, to reconvene. however, senator reid did say, don, that talks will continue tonight, so that is a good sign at least that the talks are continuing, but the fact that they are not voting tonight when everybody expected this would be the last, the last threshold tonight is not so good. now, during the afternoon, there were several meetings and actually two big meetings i should say. the d
on a deal. now, sources tell us majority leader harry reid will push a scaled-back version of the fiscal cliff package that president obama laid out on friday, which moved the tax hike needle to $400,000. no word yet on when the house of representatives might come back, but democrats say the only hope we have of something getting through the house, the senate and the white house may be a very last-minute deal. cnn radio's lisa is following developments on capitol hill right now. the ball is in senate majority leader harry reid's court it would seem right now, lisa. >> that's right. harry reid and the senate seem to be the only game in town right now with the senate returning today. we also know from sources, ali, that over this christmas break there were no conversations between the president and top-level republicans. sources from both parties are telling us they are watching the senate, especially the democratic leadership in the senate. we also know yesterday house republicans came out with a statement saying that he will act only after the u.s. senate acts. we're not sure what the se
connle and harry reid, the top republican and top democrat in the senate, they have shifted between mitch mcconnell and vice president joe biden. that's where all of the action is right now. keeping the speaker of the house john boehner abreast of what's going on. keeping harry reid abreast of what's going on and keeping president obama abreast of what's going on. we heard from senator reid yesterday that they are very far apart. not just talking on the threshold, initially president obama said $250 mi,000. there is talk to bumping that to $400,000. republicans want to know how we pay for it. there are farm subsidies, the doc fix. and spending cuts. so there is a lot to be resolved here in the next few hours. >> too bad we only found out about this, you know, yesterday or the day before. 517 days they've had to work out the details and now we're talking about them all. brianna, we'll be busy today and may be ringing in the new year together. brianna keilar in washington. >>> a ball dropping in washington, a ball dropping in times square it looks like we'll go off the fiscal cliff. here's wha
possible we've learned from sources as senate majority leader harry reid works to get republican support in the senate, which he will need if he's going to pass a bill. and so we're still waiting to see exactly what it will look like that the white house wants for the threshold on income tax rates to cut off at $250,000. we will see if that ultimately is what senate majority leader reid rolls out. as of this point in time, we're expecting this to be a limited measure to deal just really with the fiscal cliff, which was supposed to be appear incentive to deal with the long-term fiscal health of the country. not part of this, obviously looking at a big package. >> can you do this even if everything goes right? getting through the two houses. i don't think the house is anywhere near -- they couldn't get a million collars for the cap of the tax rates expiring. so what is the position of the white house aides and the people are you talking to there in terms much getting a deal done? >> well, the difference would be, and when you remember plan "b" failed. it failed to garner enough support amo
talking to the white house. the white house is in constant contact with the democratic leader harry reid. and they're working towards some kind of an agreement. but the white house has all along had -- during these past few days, been somewhat hopeful that they could reach some kind of agreement in the senate. all along, they have been far less optimistic that there would be an agreement that can get through the house. only because from the white house's perspective, from democrats' perspective broadly, they've been let down time and again by speaker boehner. they've never been able to reach a deal with speaker boehner. and now with this news that the house is going to be breaking for the evening, it does look like that might happen again. now, there's one reason, wolf, why they are filling this package with measures that could appeal to democrats, not just, as you mentioned, increasing, letting taxes for the highest income earners go to clinton rates. also extending unemployment benefits. but also it includes tuition credits and tax credits for kids because these are designed to woo dem
majority leader harry reid quickly moved the measure to a vote. minority leader mch mcconnell assured that no republicans block the bill. house speaker john boehner agreed to bring the bill to a vote on the house floor. and leader nancy pelosi with the number of votes needed to pass. >> what folks are looking for and all of us agree on this is action. they want to see that we are focused on them, not focused on our politics here in washington. >> reporter: that was the last time this group met more than a month ago. with time running out to forge a scaled-down compromise, can they agree on even the most basic elements, extending some income tax cuts, preventing pay cuts to medicare providers, fixing the alternative minimum tax. among the options to gain votes, averting an estate tax hike toll woo republicans. there's still time but no room for error. if congress doesn't act -- >> the impact psychologically and financially on americans of another plunge in the negative territory for the economy would be extremely harmful. >> reporter: and candy, as i said, those leaders are still meeti
leads are harry reid on mitch mcconnell to work out a deal on then present it to the house. he also laid out a scaled down mini deal if they are can't manage it. >> if we don't see an agreement between the two leaders in the senate, i expect a bill to go on the floor, i asked senator reid to do this, put a bill on the floor that makes sure that taxes on middle class families don't go up, that unemployment is still available for 2 million people on that lays the groundwork for additional deficit reduction on economic growth steps that we can take in the new year but let's not miss this deadline. >> as for the two senate leaders, they spoke shortly after the meeting on sounded a bit more hopeful than the president. >> i think it was a very positive meeting. there was not a lot of hilarity in the meeting. everyone knows how important it is. it's a very serious meeting on it took an extended period of time, as you all know waiting for us. >> mr. president, i would just add -- i share the view of the majority leader, we had a good meeting down at the white house. we are engaged in discussion,
president, joe biden, as well as leader harry reid, speaker boehner, nancy pelosi and mitch mcconnell. everyone worked really hard and once again, joe, i want to thank you for your great work. under this law more than 98 % of americans and 97% of small businesses will not see their income taxes go up. millions of families will continue to receive tax credits to help raise their kids and send them to college. companies will continue to receive tax credits for the research they do, the investments they make and the clean energy jobs they create. and 2 million americans who are out of work but out there looking pounding the pavement every day are going to continue to receive unemployment benefits as long as they're actively looking for a job. but i think we all recognize this law is just one step in the broader effort to strengthen our economy and broaden opportunity for everybody. the fact is the deficit is still too high. and we're still investing too little in the things that we need for the economy to grow as fast as it should. and that's why speaker boehner and i originally t
break down, the president asked harry reid to prepare a separate bill to put on the floor of the senate that would raise taxes on households that earn $250,000 or more. now, that's really a democratic proposal and you could expect republicans to block it, so, rather than thinking of that as a stop gap measure, probably think of it as a political measure to shift the responsibility for failure on to republicans just before the nation hits the hour of wreckening. alison? >> thanks. >>> lawmakers could vote as early as today and when it happens, you can watch live coverage right here on cnn. >>> the president will continue to plead his case for a deal today. he's making his first appearance on a sunday talk show in more than three years. he'll be on nbc's "meet the press." he'll call for an immediately vote for congress on a scale-back plan that would only extend middle class tax breaks if the negotiations fail. >>> other news now, second degree murder as a hate crime. that's the charge facing erica menendez. she is the woman accused of shoving a man to his death in front of a subway strai
. that's entirely possible. but nancy pelosi is on a phone call with president obama and harry reid and she signed off on this, so she has a pretty good sense of where her caucus is, will be getting a lot of democratic support. when you look at how much democratic support this got in the senate, that's an indication it would get a lot in the house. the thing is, speaker boehner gets to determine if this bill -- i think the fact is, if you put this bill on the house floor, it will go through very easily. it's up to him whether he wants to put it on the floor or change it to get more republican support. >> brianna keilar, a big day ahead of us. thank you very much. >> let's go to capitol hill, jonathan allen, a senior correspondent for politico. happy new year. i want to pick up where brianna left off. john boehner has a choice here, to correspon corral support fro republicans or put it to an up-or-down vote. the distance is allowing super groups to put pressure on congressmen to say we don't like this deal. people on the left don't like the deal, say it gives away too much. people on
apparently are the two men where the entire negotiations have moved to. senator harry reid, who runs the senate, left tonight and told reporters on the way out, if you want to know if there's a deal, talk to biden and mcconnell. they have a history of reaching agreements, in the white house, biden is known as the mcconnell whisperer, and he got that reputation a couple years ago, when he was able to forge a budget agreement in 2010. maybe -- maybe there will be a breakthrough, but there are a lot of liberals and a lot of conservatives who will argue that no deal is better than a bad deal that's rushed through tomorrow at the last second. that's another dynamic to keep in mind. >> when you said they have a history of making deals together, on which issue -- >> well, one -- >> on which issues do you think the two sides may end up compromising? >> well, the level at which taxes will rise above where they are right now, so obama's insistence has been, if you make over $250,000 a year, on the income over 250 you pay a little more in the new rates he's proposing. now, he's been willing --
go up. but cnn is told that senate democratic leader harry reid is privately warning colleagues if he's not sure the president's scaled back bill will pass both houses of congress, he won't even bring it up for a vote. the concern sources say is that a failed vote and going off the fiscal cliff would spook the markets even more. sources in both parties say the most likely scenario at this point is going off the fiscal cliff. why? after january 1st, when everyone's taxes go up, the new congress sworn this on january 3rd could vote to cut taxes. a much easier vote to cast for republicans as well as some democrats. as for the president, is he nhe scheduled to leave his family tonight, come back to washington tomorrow morning, in the hopes of helping his fellow democrats try to find enough republicans to pass his plan. but of course this goes without saying that was a plan that most if not all republicans campaigned very strongly against. >> the most likely scenario is actually did go off the cliff now. ryan liza is our correspondent from washington. you look at this and we're hearing ech
and vice president biden are sitting down with house leaders. the guest list includes harry reid, who this time yesterday said he didn't see any way the fiscal cliff could be avoided. whatever the case, our chief white house correspondent jessica yellin will be watching. what can we really expect to come out of this meeting this afternoon? >> well, alina, we're not sure what really will come out of it. the ideal scenario would be if all sides agree to a scaled-down version of the fiscal cliff agreement that the president and spe speaker boehner had been discussing weeks ago and then senator mcconnell would agree that no republicans would block it in any way if he can promise that. he argues that he can't really make that promise but if e he could then speaker boehner would promise to bring it to a vote on the floor. all sides would shake hands and we'd have a deal before new year's. that seems highly unlikely. but that's what all sides are pushing for today. >> i think we can all agree that tax rates are the biggest sticking point. so what specific issues are your sources saying that
to meet with house speaker john boehner, minority leader nancy pelosi, senate majority harry reid and minority leader mitch mcconnell. that is happening this afternoon. jessica yellin is there. jess, what do we know about the president's plan to get everybody in the same room? do we think there's going to be something that comes out of this? >> reporter: well, this is one of those cases where we really are going to have to wait and see, and all the parties involved are also going in with a big question mark. the idea is the expectation by many of the participants in the meeting is that they hope that they will be able to discuss more details about a scaled-down fiscal cliff plan. and maybe that could lead to some sort of agreement ideally for all parties in which all the senators say that they will not filibuster it, and it can go to a vote. and then speaker boehner could, in theory, agree to bring it to a vote on the house floor after the house comes back on sunday. and then we would get all of this behind us before new year's eve. how likely does that sound? not so likely. >> yo
harry reid says he's readying a bill for a vote by monday. all this follows a rare face-to-face closed door meeting at the white house today between all the key players, the president, the vice president, the treasury secretary and all four congressional leaders huddled together with just four days to go before we all go overs fiscal cliff. that meeting lasted for an hour and five minutes. on a story where every second and every maneuver counts, let's get chief to white house correspondent jessica yellin. jessica, the president says he's modestly optimist being but each also presented a backup plan. does the president really think it will come to that? >> at this point, no, they don't, john, because the white house is hopeful that the agreement that the senators are working on can actually move forward after the meeting here. there is a modest uptick in enthusiasm about that possibility. but as forts backup plan, there's no real likelihood that would ever come to a vote because republicans would likely block it in both the senate and might -- it would likely not come to a vote in the h
. take a look at mitch mcconnell and harry reid just this afternoon. >> you'll excuse me if i'm a little frustrated at the situation. >> republican leader finds himself frustrated. >> i say i'm frustrated because we have been asking the president and the democrats to work with us. >> he complains i have not delivered the votes to pass the solution to the fiscal cliff. he's in error. >> i told the president i would be happy to look at whatever he opposes. >> he's upset because, quote, the phone never rang. >> as i said, this is a conversation we should have had months ago. >> we have nobody to work with, compromise. >> republicans aren't about to write a blank check. >> we can't negotiate with ourselves. that's all we're doing. >> we don't have many days left. >> we're in the same situation we have been in for a long time. >> as you can see, senate is back in session today. the house plans to be back on sunday. more now on the breaking news. senior congressional correspondent dana bash joins us now from capitol hill. jessica yellen on the north lawn tonight. dana, i'll start with you. you
the two -- between mcconnell and the vice president and harry reid spoke to the president as well. but you know, everything gets done electronically now, that is how it works, answer to your question. >> jessica, i appreciate it, blackberry probably does too. >> when the blackberry actually works. >> see how this all -- how it all plays out and hopefully soon, jessica yellin, thank you very much. >>> next, more voices and they weigh in on where we stand in this negotiation process. stay here. these new phones they got us are great. yeah, its the galaxy note ii. you can do two things at the same time. you can watch videos and text. or you could watch the earnings report and take notes, like we're supposed to. so... can i get it? yeah. okay either of you put together the earnings report yet? yes, me totally. what? why don't you tackle the next quarter. you eat yet? polynesian? pu pu platter? yup! keep up the good work. i will keep up the good work. do more with the new samsung galaxy note ii. sfx- "sounds of african drum and flute" look who's back. again? it's embarrassing it's embarrassing!
. senate majority leader harry reid says we're all headed for fiscal disaster. >> if we go over the cliff, and it looks like that's where we're headed, mr. president, the house of representatives, as we speak, with four days left before the first of the year, aren't here. >> we're now told the house will finally return to work on sunday. now, that's december 30th. in other words, less than 48 hours before we go over the fiscal cliff. meanwhile, president obama cut his hawaii vacation short to return to washington today. but has he been working on a deal? "outfront" tonight, reports from both ends of pennsylvania avenue. chief white house correspondent, jessica yellin, and senior congressional correspondent, dana bash. jessica, first, to you, the president's back in washington, wheels down. he left his christmas vacation early. but was this just a bit of showmanship, or has he been working on something specific? >> reporter: hey, john. well, today has been a bit of a quiet day here at the white house. publicly, the president has been scarce, no sign of him. behind closed doors, i'm told a
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